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53 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
To have all my family and friends here is very special to me.
1
I have spent hours thinking about what to say today, what my Torah parshah talks about, what it means to me, and how it’s teaching is important for the world today.
2
My Torah parshah is called Pinchas.
3
It talks about many different things.
4
For example, it starts out telling the story of Pinchas.
5
He was the grandson of Aaron, and he was rewarded for executing sinners.
6
It also lists the names of the families in all of the Tribes and talks about some laws giving women inheritance rights.
7
My maftir talks about the special parts of the service in the Temple dealing with one of my favorite holidays, Sukkot.
8
Sukkot is a harvest festival and my parshah describes the offerings required for that holiday.
9
My haftarah comes from Jeremiah. Jeremiah was a prophet who warned the Jewish people that unless they followed Adonay’s commandments, ruin would come to them.
10
Talking to Rabbi Grossman about my parshah, we focused on the Temple sacrifices.
11
A lot of people think animals were killed and other offerings burned and wasted.
12
But, people now know that the offerings given by each person were actually later given to the poor and sick.
13
People used to bring in a part of what they produced – if you were a shepherd, you brought in sheep; if you grew crops, you brought in part of your harvest.
14
This was really the first organized way to help people who were struggling to survive.
15
Not too many of us grow crops or tend sheep anymore, so how does this parshah apply to us?
16
We still have the responsibility to help the poor and the sick – as Jews we are commanded to do this.
17
We must take what we know how to do and use that to help people.
18
We must take part of what we earn and our time to help people.
19
For my bar mitzvah project, I used something I know, sign language, and with the Rabbi’s help, put down on paper something that has not been done before – a sign language teaching guide for some of the prayers we use everyday in Judaism.
20
I plan to post some of them on the web and share them with our Temple.
21
Temple Beth Solomon for the Deaf in Los Angeles has also asked me to share my project with them.
22
I hope this guide will help other Deaf people connect with Judaism more easily.
23
In addition, Rabbi Grossman and I plan to go to the Jewish Deaf Conference being held in Washington, D.C. next year where I will have the opportunity to lead services.
24
Talking with my parents about my parshah, we talked about Pinchas and what was happening to the Jewish people during that time in history.
25
Mom and Dad felt that the parshah talked about the importance of following commandments.
26
I think that no matter which parshah I would have read, my Mom and Dad would have found a way for it to mean that following rules are important.
27
But, they’re right of course.
28
If the Jewish people don’t follow the commandments, bad things happen to them, to their families, to their communities, and to their nation.
29
When I think about what my parshah means to me, I remember how it tells about the daily offerings in the Temple.
30
These services were performed everyday, always, consistently.
31
Being consistent is powerful.
32
When I first looked at the amount of work it would take to become a bar mitzvah – I said I couldn’t do it.
33
But everyday I worked on it.
34
I never gave up.
35
That is what my parshah says to me: Be consistent, do the right things everyday and powerful things can happen.
36
I want to thank everyone for coming today.
37
I especially want to thank the Rabbi for giving me something no one in my family ever experienced: fun while studying Torah.
38
Thank you for teaching me in a language that I can understand.
39
I want to thank the Hazzan for giving me a “crash course”.
40
Now I can say “I’ve got Rhythm!”
41
Thanks to David Rosner, my tutor, who’s excitement for Judaism rubbed off on me.
42
I want to thank my mom and dad for taking me to Hebrew lessons, helping me practice and helping with my projects.
43
Thank you brother Aaron for practicing V’shamru with me.
44
And thanks to everyone who helped to make the service so beautiful.
45
Finally, I’d like to read a poem written by a deaf Rabbi and friend of Rabbi Grossman’s.
46
I’m your deaf child.
Listen!
I have things to tell you.
Listen!
47
My voice is not like yours, but –
I see! I touch! I think! I feel!
48
I’m sure my heart is much like yours.
Let me tell you.
49
Take time.
Listen!
50
I will tell you what I touch
And I will tell you what I think.
51
If you listen to these things, then—
I’ll tell you the things of my heart.
52
Take time.
Make time.
Listen!
Listen!
53